What worked and what didn’t work with my audio slideshow.
By: Christina Renninger
For my audio slideshow assignment I featured the owner of Holy Cow Foods. I was very pleased to find out that the owner, Katherine Lavine, was a flexitarian herself. What I think worked best for my slideshow was that she had a very good and factual understanding on the term “flexitarian.” Kathee was also very passionate about the food industry and her business so that it created a really interesting interview. I enjoyed talking with her and learned so much more about my topic. Afterwards, I had so many sound bites that I wanted to use that it was hard to start my story script. However, Kathee was a very hard person to flag down to one place. Setting up the interview was a little bit of a challenge. After meeting at the wrong location, I learned the hard way how important it is to confirm with your interviewee ahead of time the location and time of the interview.
When it came down to my interview, I ran into a few technical problems. The restaurant where I met with Kathee, had no quiet space to conduct the interview. After moving the interview to 2 different locations because of noise constraints, I finally had to interrupt Kathee and insist we finish the interview in her car so that I could get good audio. Which, I was so happy that I insisted, because it made for much more clear and quality audio. Kathee also kept moving the mic I had attached to her further and further down her sweater. I brought headphones with me so I could tell that the audio was getting more and more muffled. Eventually, I resorted to unplugging the mic and awkwardly holding my Tascam DR-05 close to her face.
My audio turned out pretty good for the most part. The only issues I had was that Kathee talked very fast and it was evident in my final audio slideshow. There was also a few moments where she was playing with a hair clip and you can hear it in the background of my slideshow. I spent hours trying to doctor this up in Final Cut Pro, but was unsuccessful. The sound bite was so good that I decided to include it in the final version anyway.
As I mentioned above, Kathee was a hard person to get a hold of. After the initial interview I wanted to schedule a follow up with Kathee to take more pictures, but she was too busy to meet. I ended up having to coordinate with the manager instead to schedule a time where I could take pictures inside the kitchen. She was happy to help, and I was able to get in the following day. Unfortunately, when I came to the restaurant to take photos they hardly had any customers. Without customers there was no food action in the kitchen. So, I ended up having to hang out for a lot longer than I had planned to get the shots I did. It payed off in the end though.
Overall, I am happy with the outcome of my slideshow. I would like to learn how to remove distracting background noise in Final Cut for the future. The hum removal tool and background noise reduction tool didn’t do anything for me, just made the audio sound worse. Some of my biggest takeaways from this assignment were, the importance of confirming the interview the morning of, plan for more time than you think you will need, and never be afraid to interrupt an interview if your audio isn’t sounding right.